No, these aren’t musically gifted college students playing, but high school and middle school students from all over the county. In its third year, the Lauderdale County Honor Band is preparing for its concert tomorrow afternoon.
“So, the way this works, I go out to all the schools, drop off materials, and then I go back about a month or maybe two months later, and I hear every single student audition.” This year I heard 188 middle and high school students. We have two bands: a middle school band which is, I think, 60 students and a high school band which is, I think, at 51 students this year. Both of them are at record highs, same with the total audition numbers.” -Jonathon Romero, Director of Bands, MCC
The students practice for the first time together on Thursday evening from 5pm to 9pm, and they get out of school to practice all day on Friday, and then they have a concert on Saturday.
One of the biggest things Romero auditions the students on is sight reading, which is where he places a piece of music in front of them they have never played before, to see how well they can pick it up and adapt to it.
“So far its been really fun. I like this band room. The acoustics are pretty good. It’s fun to have a really big ensemble with all the instruments we don’t have at Meridian High. We have a pretty small group there, but here we have a little more variety.” -James Pruwitt, Junior at MHS
“At the end of each concert they all get these patches that says Lauderdale County Honor Band, and it says the year. I change up the color schemes every year, so every single one is different. So they get that and the joy of playing a concert with people they’ve probably never met and all playing the same instrument and playing really, really good music. Music they’ll probably never play in their own band because we get the best from every single school, so we get to play a little more difficult music than they’re used to.” -Romero
The concert will be tomorrow afternoon at 3pm in McCain theatre on MCC’S campus.